Nails - General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series. Nails are important for adornment. Smooth, lustrous nails are considered a sign of health and beauty. The rapid growth of nail salons demonstrates the value that women in particular assign to their nails. Fingernails are also important for fine touch and manipulation.
Toenails are protective, especially the large toenails, which bear the brunt of force from jogging, footballing and many other sports. The nail sits right on the bone of the terminal phalanx, and is closely associated with the distal interpha langeal joint. Toenails especially are prone to repeated microtrauma over the years from footwear, sporting injuries and changes due to arthritis.
Fingernails suffer from whatever traumas we put our hands through—chemicals, soaps and detergents and, for some, the added insults of nail salons cutting and dissolving cuticles, using harsh chemicals to apply and remove polishes, false nails, acrylics and so on.
- © Churchill Livingstone Australia 2010
- 30th October 2012
- Churchill Livingstone Australia
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Conjoint Professor, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of NSW
Senior Clinical Lecturer, Deputy Head of Department, Department of General Practice, Monash University